Week 26 of pregnancy

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Welcome to week 26 of pregnancy. The anticipation of the baby’s delivery grows and so does your belly. At week 26 of pregnancy, the uterus might blow up like a balloon, moving higher and higher in the abdomen.  Your second-trimester symptoms are at a peak as you can feel the baby moving more rapidly and track the sleeping pattern of the baby.

What does week 26 of pregnancy look like?

At week 26 of pregnancy, your uterus has now expanded and reached 2 inches above the belly button. The belly grows by ½ inches every week.

In week 26 of pregnancy, If you are worried about gaining excess weight, remind yourself that the baby is close to 2 pounds now and requires amniotic acid to sustain itself. You must have gained about 15 – 18 pounds by now.

Fetal development at week 26 of pregnancy

The baby is now about 13 inches long and around 2 pounds, almost the size of a cabbage. The baby is still surviving on the amniotic acid, as it continues to feed and breathe over it. 

  • If the baby is the boy, his testicles have begun to descend into the scrotum. 
  • The skin is inching towards becoming more opaque.
  • Eyelash is starting to sprout through his closed eyelids
  • The nerves in the ears and other sense organs are developing more and more. 
  • The baby is moving and kicking around more swiftly and is responding to the outside noise.
  • The nervous system from the brain to the hand and legs are becoming more and more complex, which means the baby is kicking and moving more swiftly.

Recent articles: Week 17 of pregnancy | Week 16 of pregnancy

What are the symptoms?

The uterus is moving higher in the abdomen

The belly is growing about ½ inches every day and stretching out about 13.38 inches long by the end of this week. 

Frequent urination

The symptom from the previous week still continues along with frequent urination. It is because there is added pressure over the pelvic region and added pressure from the hormones.

The Braxton Hicks contractions

You may feel an increase in the contractions as they proceed on to get more frequent and are often irregular. The vaginal contractions prepare your uterus by practicing labor. These contractions start early in the second and get common in the third trimester.

Swelling

You might be annoyed by the swellings in the hands and legs, it is normal to have them at around week 26. It can be a sign of a dangerous condition called preeclampsia. Keep a close check on your blood pressure. Make sure that it is under normal limits, and record each time you measure it.

Week 24 brings in a new set of symptoms and complications as the baby continues to develop. You can seek support from self-help groups or your doctor. You might also consider hiring a postpartum doula who can help you deal with infant feeding, recovery from delivery- emotionally and physically, and basic newborn care.

Self-care tips

Eat well and move more

The base of a healthy pregnancy is to have a healthy lifestyle. It is important to make sure that you are having enough nutritional supplements and pelvic exercises to ensure shorter labor and reduced pregnancy pain.

Birth plan

If you haven’t started yet, this is the best time to come up with a baby delivery plan. As week 26 of pregnancy progress, you get a better idea of your baby’s size at delivery. Your registered doctor shall guide you better in the safest way possible for the delivery to ensure minimal to no risk and complications to both of you. 

Practice good posture

With the protruding belly and aching back, it isn’t easy to stand up and maintain balance. Sit back and use the pillow and behind the back for support. Avoid standing for a long time to ensure that you don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself.

Special considerations and complications

Insomnia

If you have regular contractions during the night and become troublesome, you might probably have pregnancy insomnia.

Your body might have trouble calming down and drifting off and you might find yourself running to bathrooms and have heartburn and leg cramps. 

Blood sugar levels under control

The best that you can do for you and your baby’s health is to make sure that you keep the sugar levels under control.

  • Regular exercises that have moderate intensity helps to decrease insulin resistance by body tissues, which ensures optimal insulin uptake and normal blood glucose level.
  • Too much of carbs and glucose should be avoided and ensure that there is a proper balance as suggested by the healthcare provider
  • Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Ensure less intake of calories.

Visit the doctor

The phrase intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to slowed baby growth and it’s detected with fundal height measurements and ultrasound.

If the healthcare provider detects two weeks size discrepancy, you might like to take up ultrasounds to monitor the baby’s growth, movements and blood flow, and the quantity of amniotic acid.

 Important checklist for week 26 pregnancy

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Research and start making the birth plan
  • Practice doing kegel exercises. 

Bottomline

Congratulations, mama! You are soon going to enter your third trimester. It really doesn’t matter if you are having anxiety issues or being nauseous, you should expect your belly to grow by ½ an inch with every passing week.

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